Thing They Carried Essay

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Another rhetorical strategy that O’Brien uses is motif. This quote is basically saying that a true war story tells it how it is; it doesn’t try to make things easier for the reader to digest.

The motif that he uses is “…true war story…” He uses this phrase throughout the story to help the reader understand how to write a story. “You can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you.

The real purpose of stories is to relate the truth of experience, not to create false emotions in their audiences.

“How to Tell a True War Story” has aspects that help the story become more connect.

First he splits the story into three different sections.

The first part being Rat Kiley writing his letter to Curt Lemon’s sister about the relationship they had.”(68) The last strategy that O’Brien uses in this story is irony.There are many places in this story when O’Brien’s ideas contradict themselves.And these war stories, according to O’Brien, were love stories.Tim O’Brien uses two narrative techniques in “How to Tell a True War Story”.The theme of “How to Tell a True War Story” is that everything is not what it seems. When most people want to tell a story about war they will try to sugar coat it so the reader or listener will understand it better.But to truly understand something you need to get the full aspect of it.O’Brien gives many ideas as to ways to tell whether a story is true but most people don’t want to hear it or even understand.That is why some storytellers don’t tell the whole truth when writing, to make their work more appealing.Another place where he displays irony is in the beginning of the story he says that Curt Lemon died when he was playing a game with Rat Kiley but later on, after he’s given some advice on how to write a true war story, he tells the reader how Curt Lemon actually died.This is ironic because he is giving advice on how to write a story but he didn’t take his own advice.


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